Archives: Dismissal

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Mission Impossible? – Hospital’s obligations to cure dying relationship

Akinwunmi – v – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is the perfect example of when employment law reaches the limits of its usefulness in HR practice. For a fuller description of the facts, see Chris Lynn’s blog http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/when-20-months-unauthorised-absence-is-still-an-unfair-dismissal/. For our purposes, however, Dr Akinwunmi fell out with five of his neurosurgeon colleagues over … Continue Reading

Employer pension contributions count towards the calculation of a week’s pay

I have done my best to make this case report sound interesting and I like to think that even the most casual review of it will show that I have, well, failed. However, it is still important, especially for those involved in collective redundancy or TUPE consultations. Employers may need to revisit the potential cost … Continue Reading

Justification of Redundancy Following Disability-Related Absence

If because of your disability you are absent from work and if because of that absence your employer discovers that it doesn’t actually need you, does your resulting redundancy arise from your disability?  This is important because Section 15 Equality Act 2010 says that if A treats B unfavourably “because of something arising in consequence … Continue Reading

Whose lie is it anyway? Not for employer to decide if whistleblowing disclosure is protected

For a whistleblower to benefit from the statutory protections, his disclosure must be protected, i.e., be (usually) about the breach of a legal obligation and reasonably believed by him to be true and in the public interest.  If he deliberately lies or makes his disclosure only to advance his own interests or prejudice somebody else’s, … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 4

Managing redundancy for those on maternity leave Many employers get nervous when carrying out redundancy exercises if the selection pool includes a woman who is pregnant or on maternity leave.  The risk of a claim for discrimination or an unfair dismissal claim if she is made redundant is often on their mind. The fact that … Continue Reading

Spying on an employee in France breaches his right to privacy, even where he is committing breaches of his employment contract

The French Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer could not rely on the report of a private detective it had hired to spy on one of its employees to obtain an injunction against him because this was a breach of the employee’s privacy and that could not be justified, however legitimate were its concerns. … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, Part 1

Large-scale redundancies may not be happening (fortunately) to the same extent as in the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008 (and it’s too early to talk meaningfully about the possible implications of Brexit), but we are still often asked to advise clients in connection with smaller-scale redundancy exercises, often arising as a result of … Continue Reading

Let’s face it – tattoos at work not always welcome

Readers with long memories may remember my blog from a year ago regarding potentially offensive tattoos in the workplace. http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/offensive-tattoos-in-the-uk-workplace-come-on-be-reasonable/ That blog focused on the scenario where an employee bears a tattoo which offends another employee in the workplace, but what about a tattoo that you as employer feel is plainly inappropriate for the working … Continue Reading

Three ways to dismiss employees in Japan

If we were to list the “frequently asked questions” by multinationals doing business in Japan, the first question on the list might be “how do we dismiss employees?” The short answer is “with extreme care,” as Japan is famous for its “lifetime employment” system, and the law here is very protective of employees. Many multinationals have tried to fire … Continue Reading

Gardening Leave – Avoiding the Thorns!

In the absence of any right at common law or under Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the general rule is that gardening leave must be conferred by an express power in an employment contract.  In a remarkable decision by the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia it was held that the employer’s power to direct … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court decides that failure to display workplace rules rendered dismissal unfair

A recent case before the French Supreme Court acts as a stark warning to employers of the importance of complying with the requirements in the French Labour Code to display their internal rules in the workplace. After the discovery of empty bottles of alcohol in the employees’ changing room, an employer required one of its … Continue Reading

Offensive tattoos in the UK workplace? Come on, be reasonable

I am quite confident that a great many of us have considered the possibility of getting a tattoo.  It may have been during the heady days of youth and only a fleeting fantasy, but a consideration nonetheless.  I will freely admit toying with the idea right up to the moment I realised that ‘inking’ myself … Continue Reading

Does sacking an employee for calling the boss a “complete d*ck” constitute unfair dismissal in Australia?

In a sequel to our blog last year concerning Australian employers using expletives towards employees (click here), the Fair Work Commission was recently faced with the converse scenario, this time being asked to rule on whether an employer was entitled to summarily dismiss an employee who had inadvertently sent him a text message in which … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court rules on “fat cow” clash

Around the world unpleasant email exchanges often result in Employment Tribunal proceedings; however the sheer degree of personal malice evidence in a recent French case has shocked even seasoned commentators. The email in question contained amongst other colourful phrases the following salutation: “Hello, fat cow… I am waiting for your resignation letter because after my … Continue Reading

Making yourself heard in termination meetings

I was made redundant yesterday. Several times, actually. As part of a redundancy consultation training session for a client, we ran a series of role plays where unsuspecting managers were faced with some not wholly implausible human behaviours.  I played an employee brought to tears by the at-risk letter and announced mid-way through the first … Continue Reading

Caught with your trousers down? Dismissal may still be below the belt

Recently my eye was drawn to the headline: “PC caught having sex on duty reinstated because his firearm was within reach”.  For purely professional reasons, obviously, one reads on. PC Shaun Jenkins was the sort of upstanding individual Gwent residents would want and expect to be a part of their local police force, a recipient … Continue Reading
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